By  | 

AVONDALE, Arizona – Sebastien Bourdais, fresh off a win in the season opener, collected his first pole position on an Indy car oval in nearly 12 years today when he turned the fastest two laps in Verizon P1 Award qualifying for the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix.

As the final driver to make an attempt, Bourdais averaged 188.539 mph for his two laps around the ISM Raceway 1.022-mile oval in the No. 18 Team SealMaster Honda for Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan. It earned the 39-year-old Frenchman the 34th pole position of his 13-year Indy car career to break a tie for seventh place on the all-time list with Dario Franchitti.

The last time Bourdais won the pole on an oval came at Milwaukee in June 2006 when he was in the midst of winning four consecutive Champ Car titles. It is also just the second pole in the 35-year history of Dale Coyne Racing.

Simon Pagenaud, the defending race winner at ISM Raceway, qualified second with a two-lap average of 188.148 mph in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet. Teammate and reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion was third in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, at 186.852 mph.

Alexander Rossi qualified fourth for Andretti Autosport in the No. 27 MilitaryToMotorsports.com Honda (185.741 mph). Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammates James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens locked up the third row in the starting grid, Hinchcliffe fifth at 185.741 mph in the No. 5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda and Wickens sixth in the No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda (185.362 mph).

A final practice under the lights at ISM Raceway starts at 11 p.m. ET today and streams live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com.

The 250-lap race, the second of the 17-race season, airs live at 9 p.m. Saturday on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *